Monday, January 22, 2001
Lawmaker Bateman, 64, dies
Milford man spent 16 years in Ohio House
By Nicole Hamilton
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Sam Bateman, who represented Clermont County in the Ohio House for 16 years and was instrumental in seat belt and grandparents' rights legislation, died Sunday after a heart attack.
He was 64.
Mr. Bateman had been suffering from various illnesses for more than a year, but was forced to leave office Dec. 31 by term limits. He died at Mercy Hospital Anderson.
As chairman of the House Transportation and Safety Committee for six years, Mr. Bateman was a leader in establishing laws that require seat belt use in Ohio and that drivers slow down when they approach stationary emergency and police vehicles.
And, because of Mr. Bateman's initiative, grandparents in Ohio have a legal right to see their grandchildren.
He was steadfast and steady as a rock, said former state Sen. Cooper Snyder, R-Hillsboro, now of Rocky Fork Lake.
Mr. Snyder recalled a qui et, unassuming and straightforward man whom everyone respected - and who could walk both sides of the aisle.
Samuel Thomas Bateman, a third-generation Milford resident, was appointed to the legislature in January 1984 to finish a two-year term as 66th District representative, following the slaying of Republican Sue Fisher.
After redistricting - fallout from 1990 Census results - he came to represent the 71st District, which encompassed Clermont County.
At that time, Mr. Bateman was vice president of Harding Insurance Co. He had spent 10 years on the Milford School Board - three terms as president and another three as vice president - and also had served on the Great Oaks Vocational School District Board of Education for six years.
When he ran for (Milford) school board it was because he had a genuine concern for the community. He loved his school - it was where his boys went, too,
said his son, Rick Bateman of Canal Fulton, Ohio.
Mr. Bateman told The Enquirer in 1994 that he was particularly proud of his work on a bill that ensured grandparents could see their grandchildren in domestic relations cases. He also worked on an infectious waste bill that set standards for a medical waste disposal system.
During his tenure as representative, Mr. Bateman helped get funds allocated for Milford roads and for construction of the Southwest Ohio Developmental Center for mentally disabled adults in Batavia Township.
That ain't bad for a kid from Milford, Mr. Bateman told the Enquirer six years ago.
Mr. Bateman graduated from Milford High School and attended the University of Cincinnati. He entered the insurance business in 1958, working at the Nationwide agency his father owned.
He eventually accepted a position with Harding Insurance Co., now the C. Edward Lovins Co., and became its vice president.
Mr. Bateman was recognized repeatedly for his contributions as a state representative.
In 1985, 1990 and 1996 he was given the Watchdog of the Treasury Award for fiscal responsibility. He was a recipient of the Milford Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Community Service award, and was one of the first inductees into the Milford High School Hall of Fame.
He was a member of the Milford-Miami Township EMS Exclusive 1000 Club, where he was a volunteer for more than 14 years.
Rick Bateman said his father had completed more than 1,000 ambulance runs and had delivered about six babies.
In 2000, Mr. Bateman was awarded the Outstanding leadership Award from the Clermont County Republican Party.
Mr. Bateman is also survived by his wife, Barbara Kane Bateman of Milford; two other sons, Samuel Thomas lll and Christopher Lee, both of Milford; three sisters, Elma Kay Haines and Marjorie Slaughter, both of Milford, and Linda Gignac of Indian Rocks, Fla.; and five grandchildren.
Visitation will be 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Evans Funeral Home, 741 Center St., Milford.
Service will be 10 a.m. Wednesday at Milford First United Methodist Church, 541 Main St., Milford.
Burial will be in Greenlawn Cemetery, Milford.
Memorials can be made to the Great Oaks Educational Foundation, 3254 E. Kemper Road, Cincinnati OH 45241.
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